Here's an idea: Share inspections

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Here's an idea: Share inspections

Postby barista » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:34 pm

Just a random idea I thought of in shower today.

With so many houses going through pending inspection back to active status these days there are people doing inspections on the same house again and again.

So if I have done buyer's inspection on a house, does anything prevent me from sharing that report with other potential buyers of the property? I could share it for free or ask for some money to recoup my costs. For a new buyer this will allow knowing more details about the property before they can move ahead with the offer.

If this is legally allowed, may be seattlebubble can be the marketplace for such sharing... what do you guys think?
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Re: Here's an idea: Share inspections

Postby SummitSeeker » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:04 pm

I don't think banks would agree to go along with this. If you were lending someone money, would you be okay with "but this other guy gave me his copy" or would you demand your own inspection? Then again, banks have been known to make poor decisions...
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Re: Here's an idea: Share inspections

Postby ira s » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:37 pm

The lender doesn't have anything to do with the inspection. They have everything to do with the appraisal. I like the idea of sharing inspection reports, but I can see some logistical problems.
1. When you've had an inspection and requested repairs, the house might go pending and back active even after some of the repairs have been made. In a house deal I was involved with recently, the house became active again as a result of the inspection, because the buyers walked when the seller wouldn't agree to do all the repairs requested. But they did the major ones, knowing that not doing them could kill the deal all over again.
2. Sometimes the inspection report is used as an escape clause just because the buyer got cold feet, not because anything is that horrible with the house. And sometimes the inspection report will state repairs that need to be done, and they don't get done, and the condition of the house gets worse by the time it goes active again.
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Re: Here's an idea: Share inspections

Postby Haybaler » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:09 pm

Let's try to flesh this idea out a bit....

So, you just spent $350 on a deluxe home inspection to CYA because you are a prudent buyer. It turns up some interesting stuff....things you would never have thought to look at, and if you had looked at wouldn't have known what you were seeing.

The house needs a new roof, dry rot in the bathroom floors, aluminum wiring and no ground wire, remodel work done without permits and not to code, no insulation in the attic or crawl space, leaky windows, exhaust fans vent into the crawl space and attic but not to the atmosphere, mold, improper sized circuit breakers in the panel, environmental hazards,.....etc, etc, etc,.... You get estimates to remedy the issues and begin to negotiate w/ the seller/ lender....the deal fails because you are no fool and they don't want to give in...

How much time do you want to spend trying to re-coup your $350?

Not very much because you have a real job and a life and you are trying to buy another home. How would you be able to know who the next potential buyer is to make your info available to them?...

But most importantly, the problem with an inspection report is that it is a snapshot in time. The seller could do some of the work, (or cover up the damages with a coat of paint). Conditions change.

I think you need to look at your inspection expense as the best $350 you could have spent to save yourself from repairs and heartache, not a reimbursable, share-able bill.
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Re: Here's an idea: Share inspections

Postby barista » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:27 pm

I don't have to know who the next buyer is. Why would I care?
Also for being a snapshot in time, I agree. But it atleast lets me see what isues showed up in the house X numbers of years ago and I can look closely if they were fixed properly. Basically it just gives me more information about the hosue that's it. I can still go ahead and order my own inspection if I need it.

People can just share the reports they have for the greater good. Just because they get to see and use other people's reports. Like the linux development model. In fact if I am a buyer and I have done the inspection, I can share the report to give people a confidence in the quality of the house. Pretty much like the carfax report. I don't know why this won't work if a site like redfin takes this up.
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Re: Here's an idea: Share inspections

Postby anforowicz » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:00 pm

You can take it further - if you could see a few inspection reports from inspector X and compare their quality to inspections from inspector Y, then you would be able to make a better decision about the inspector to use with your house. Add a voting feature and you can then sort all inspector's by their rating.
Last edited by anforowicz on Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Here's an idea: Share inspections

Postby AlexC » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:05 am

Try to get an inspector to agree this idea!

Many of them are adamant about restricting access to their reports, and there is usually a confidentiality clause. We modified our contract with our inspector to make it clear that we could share the information with appropriate parties.

It can be a good idea to share the information, however inspectors tend to view the inspection as their intellectual property rather than a work for hire. Most of the reasoning on the part of inspectors that I've seen is protectionist. They don't want the report being re-used because they think that it will hurt their business.

I do think it is a good idea to attach prior inspections to the house - maybe as public docs in the house's record - like permits and such. It would be useful as a filter for inspectors who miss things too. As things do come up, and they always do, theses could be noted on the inspection and potentially improve the quality of the reports.

-Alex
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